Writing software documentation without the software

Subject: Writing software documentation without the software
From: "Brasel, Russell" <russell -dot- brasel -at- hccredit -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 11:24:07 -0600

Has anyone here had an experience like this?

We have a small application that the programmers use to run Stored
Procedures on our accounts. On Monday, one of our programmers showed me
how they use the application-I took notes, got a screenshot, and started
writing my documentation. The only problem is that I don't have the
application on my box. I'm finding it difficult to properly document
the procedure without having the program in front of me. Also, our
programmers are incredibly busy, so I don't feel that I can have them
show me the process every time I have a question.

I've informed my manager that trying to write software documentation
without the software is like writing a cookbook without testing the
recipes. He hasn't gotten back to me yet, and I need some advice about
making my case. I'm sure I'll be called for a meeting this afternoon.


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